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(1/596) A switch in the cellular localization of macrophage migration inhibitory factor in the rat testis after ethane dimethane sulfonate treatment.

Macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF), one of the first cytokines to be discovered, has recently been localized to the Leydig cells in adult rat testes. In the following study, the response of MIF to Leydig cell ablation by the Leydig cell-specific toxin ethane dimethane sulfonate (EDS) was examined in adult male rats. Testicular MIF mRNA and protein in testicular interstitial fluid measured by ELISA and western blot were only marginally reduced by EDS treatment, in spite of the fact that the Leydig cells were completely destroyed within 7 days. Immunohistochemistry using an affinity-purified anti-mouse MIF antibody localized MIF exclusively to the Leydig cells in control testes. At 7 days post-EDS treatment, there were no MIF immunopositive Leydig cells in the interstitium, although distinct MIF immunostaining was observed in the seminiferous tubules, principally in Sertoli cells and residual cytoplasm, and some spermatogonia. A few peritubular and perivascular cells were also labelled at this time, which possibly represented mesenchymal Leydig cell precursors. At 14 and 21 days, Sertoli cell MIF immunoreactivity was observed in only a few tubule cross-sections, while some peritubular and perivascular mesenchymal cells and the re-populating immature Leydig cells were intensely labeled. At 28 days after EDS-treatment, the MIF immunostaining pattern was identical to that of untreated and control testes. The switch in the compartmentalization of MIF protein at 7 days after EDS-treatment was confirmed by western blot analysis of interstitial tissue and seminiferous tubules separated by mechanical dissection. These data establish that Leydig cell-depleted testes continue to produce MIF, and suggest the existence of a mechanism of compensatory cytokine production involving the Sertoli cells. This represents the first demonstration of a hitherto unsuspected pattern of cellular interaction between the Leydig cells and the seminiferous tubules which is consistent with an essential role for MIF in male testicular function.  (+info)

(2/596) Experimental cryptorchidism induces a change in the pattern of expression of LH receptor mRNA in rat testis after selective Leydig cell destruction by ethylene dimethane sulfonate.

In the rat, the cytotoxic drug ethylene dimethane sulfonate (EDS) selectively eliminates mature Leydig cells (LCs) from testicular interstitium, activating a complex process of proliferation and differentiation of pre-existing LC precursors. We observed previously that after EDS treatment, the early LC precursors persistently express a truncated 1.8 kb form of LH receptor (LHR) mRNA. This prompted us to study whether experimental cryptorchidism, known to alter the process of LC repopulation, can influence the pattern of testicular LHR mRNA expression after EDS administration. EDS treatment completely eliminated mature LCs both in control and unilaterally cryptorchid (UC) rats. This response was followed by gradual reappearance of newly formed, functionally active LCs, as evidenced by the recovery in testicular LHR content and plasma testosterone levels in both experimental groups. Noteworthy, the rate of LC repopulation was higher in the abdominal testes of UC rats, in keeping with previous findings. Interestingly, the 1.8 kb LHR transcript was persistently expressed in scrotal testes at all time-points, but undetectable upon Northern hybridization in abdominal testes at early stages after EDS administration, when low levels of expression of truncated LHR transcripts could only be detected by semi-quantitative RT-PCR analysis. In addition, the faster LC repopulation in cryptorchid testes was associated with precocious recovery of the complete array of LHR mRNA transcripts, including the 1.8 kb species. These changes appeared acutely and irreversibly, as unilateral positioning of scrotal testes into the abdomen resulted in a rapid loss of expression of the 1.8 kb LHR transcript, whereas scrotal relocation of the UC testes failed to alter the pattern of LHR gene expression. In conclusion, experimental cryptorchidism changes the pattern of LHR mRNA expression in rat testis after selective LC destruction by EDS. This change, i.e. repression of the 1.8 kb LHR transcript after EDS administration, is acute and irreversible, and likely related to the impairment of testicular microenvironment following cryptorchidism. However, even though at low levels, the expression of truncated forms of LHR mRNA appears to be a universal feature of proliferating LC precursors. The UC testis may represent a good model for analysis of the regulatory signals involved in the control of LHR gene expression.  (+info)

(3/596) NMDAR channel segments forming the extracellular vestibule inferred from the accessibility of substituted cysteines.

In NMDA receptor channels, the M2 loop forms the narrow constriction and the cytoplasmic vestibule. The identity of an extracellular vestibule leading toward the constriction remained unresolved. Using the substituted cysteine accessibility method (SCAM), we identified channel-lining residues of the NR1 subunit in the region preceding M1 (preM1), the C-terminal part of M3 (M3C), and the N-terminal part of M4 (M4N). These residues are located on the extracellular side of the constriction and, with one exception, are exposed to the pore independently of channel activation, suggesting that the gate is at the constriction or further cytoplasmic to it. Permeation of Ca2+ ions was decreased by mutations in M3C and M4N, but not by mutations in preM1, suggesting a functionally distinct contribution of the segments to the extracellular vestibule of the NMDA receptor channel.  (+info)

(4/596) Architecture of a K+ channel inner pore revealed by stoichiometric covalent modification.

Inwardly rectifying K+ channels bind intracellular magnesium and polyamines to generate inward rectification. We have examined the architecture of the inner pore of Kir2.1 channels by covalently attaching a constrained number (from one to four) of positively charged moieties of different sizes to the channel. Our results indicate that the inner pore is formed solely by the second transmembrane segment and is unprecedentedly wide. At a position critical for inward rectification (D172), the pore is sufficiently wide to bind three Mg2+ ions or polyamine molecules simultaneously. Single-channel recordings directly demonstrate that partially modified channels exhibit distinct subconductance levels. Such a wide inner pore may greatly facilitate ion permeation and high-affinity binding of multiple pore blockers to generate strong inward rectification.  (+info)

(5/596) Activation of the proteasomes of sand dollar eggs at fertilization depends on the intracellular pH rise.

The mechanism of the activation of intracellular proteasomes at fertilization was measured in living sand dollar eggs using the membrane-impermeant fluorogenic substrate, succinyl-Phe-Leu-Arg-coumarylamido-4-methanesulfonic acid. When the substrate was microinjected into unfertilized eggs, the initial velocity of hydrolysis of the substrate (V0) was low. V0 measured 5 to 10 min after fertilization was five to nine times the prefertilization level and remained high throughout the first cell cycle. Hydrolysis of the substrate was inhibited by clasto-lactacystin beta-lactone, a specific inhibitor of the proteasome. There has been in vitro evidence that calcium may be involved in regulation of proteasome activity to either inhibit the increase in peptidase activity associated with PA 28 binding to the 20S proteasome or stimulate activity of the PA 700-proteasome complex. Since both intracellular free Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i) and intracellular pH (pHi) increase after fertilization, hydrolysis of the proteasome substrate was measured under conditions in which [Ca2+]i and pHi were varied independently during activation. When the pHi of unfertilized eggs was elevated by exposure to 15 mM ammonium chloride in pH 9 seawater, V0 increased to a level comparable to that measured after fertilization. In contrast, [Ca2+]i elevation without pHi change, induced by calcium ionophore in sodium-free seawater, had no effect on V0 in the unfertilized egg. Moreover, when unfertilized eggs were microinjected with buffers modulating pHi, V0 increased in a pH-dependent manner. These results indicate that the pHi rise at fertilization is the necessary prerequisite for activation of the proteasome, an essential component in the regulation of the cell cycle.  (+info)

(6/596) Identification of the amine-polyamine-choline transporter superfamily 'consensus amphipathic region' as the target for inactivation of the Escherichia coli GABA transporter GabP by thiol modification reagents. Role of Cys-300 in restoring thiol sensitivity to Gabp lacking Cys.

The Escherichia coli gamma-aminobutyric acid transporter GabP (gab permease) contains a functionally significant cysteine residue (Cys-300) within its consensus amphipathic region (CAR), a putative channel-forming structure that extends out of transmembrane helix 8 and into the adjoining cytoplasmic loop 8-9 of transporters from the amine-polyamine-choline (APC) superfamily. Here we show that of the five cysteine residues (positions 158, 251, 291, 300 and 443) in the E. coli GabP, Cys-300 is the one that renders the transport activity sensitive to inhibition by thiol modification reagents: whereas substituting Ala for Cys-300 mimics the inhibitory effect of thiol modification, substituting Ala at position 158, 251, 291 or 443 preserves robust transport activity and confers no resistance to thiol inactivation; and whereas the robustly active Cys-300 single-Cys mutant is fully sensitive to thiol modification, other single-Cys mutants (Cys at 158, 251, 291 or 443) exhibit kinetically compromised transport activities that resist further chemical inactivation by thiol reagents. The present study reveals additionally that Cys-300 exhibits (1) sensitivity to hydrophobic thiol reagents, (2) general resistance to bulky (fluorescein 5-maleimide) and/or charged {2-sulphonatoethyl methanethiosulphonate or [2-(trimethylammonium)ethyl] methanethiosulphonate} thiol reagents and (3) a peculiar sensitivity to p-chloromercuribenzenesulphonate (PCMBS). The accessibility of PCMBS to Cys-300 (located midway through the lipid bilayer) might be related to the structural similarity that it shares with guvacine (1, 2,3,6-tetrahydro-3-pyridinecarboxylic acid), a transported GabP substrate. These structural requirements for thiol sensitivity provide the first chemical evidence consistent with channel-like access to the polar surface of the CAR, a physical configuration that might provide a basis for understanding how this region impacts the function of APC transporters generally [Closs, Lyons, Kelly and Cunningham (1993) J. Biol. Chem. 268, 20796-20800] and the gab permease particularly [Hu and King (1998) Biochem. J. 300, 771-776].  (+info)

(7/596) Identification of markers for precursor and leydig cell differentiation in the adult rat testis following ethane dimethyl sulphonate administration.

Administration of ethane dimethane sulphonate (EDS) to adult rats results in the destruction of all Leydig cells, followed by a complete regeneration. We investigated this regeneration process in more detail, using different markers for precursor and developing Leydig cells: the LH receptor, 3beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3beta-HSD), transforming growth factor alpha (TGFalpha), and a new marker for Leydig cell maturation, relaxin-like factor (RLF). LH receptor immunoreactivity was found in Leydig cell-depleted testes at 3 and 8 days after EDS administration. The positive (precursor) cells had a mesenchymal-like morphology. The number of LH receptor-positive cells 8 days after EDS administration was 15 +/- 4 per 500 Sertoli cell nuclei. Fifteen days after EDS administration, the first new Leydig cells could be observed. These cells stained positively with both the antibodies against the LH receptor and 3beta-HSD, while some cells also stained positively for TGFalpha. After EDS administration, RLF mRNA disappeared from the testis and reappeared again at the time of the appearance of the first Leydig cells. Concomitant with the increase in the number of Leydig cells, the number of RLF-expressing cells increased. The observations of the present study give further support to the hypothesis that Leydig cell development in the prepubertal testis, and in the adult testis following EDS administration, takes place along the same cell lineage and suggest, therefore, that the adult EDS-treated rat can serve as a model for studying the adult-type Leydig cell development that normally occurs in the prepubertal rat testis.  (+info)

(8/596) Paradoxical stimulation of a DEG/ENaC channel by amiloride.

Extracellular amiloride inhibits all known DEG/ENaC ion channels, including BNC1, a proton-activated human neuronal cation channel. Earlier studies showed that protons cause a conformational change that activates BNC1 and exposes residue 430 to the extracellular solution. Here we demonstrate that, in addition to blocking BNC1, amiloride also exposes residue 430. This result suggested that, like protons, amiloride might be capable of activating the channel. To test this hypothesis, we introduced a mutation in the BNC1 pore that reduces amiloride block, and found that amiloride stimulated these channels. Amiloride inhibition was voltage-dependent, suggesting block within the pore, whereas stimulation was not, suggesting binding to an extracellular site. These data show that amiloride can have two distinct effects on BNC1, and they suggest two different interaction sites. The results suggest that extracellular amiloride binding may have a stimulatory effect similar to that of protons in BNC1 or extracellular ligands in other DEG/ENaC channels.  (+info)